The Saxon Wolves by Penny Ingham #BookReview #BlogTour

Britain 455AD. The Roman Empire has fallen. As the daughter of a king and a priestess of the sacred grove, Anya's life in Germania is one of wealth and privilege - until she dares to speak out against the high priest's barbaric human sacrifices. Her punishment is exile. Forced to leave her homeland, she sails to Britannia, to an island that is sliding into chaos and war, as rival kingdoms vie for power. Alone and far from home, Anya must learn to survive amidst the bloodshed, treachery and intrigue of fifth century Britain. Can she find a place to belong - a home, a hearth, a welcome?

I'm delighted to be one of the hosts for the first leg of the blog tour for The Saxon Wolves today, alongside two fabulous bloggers -  Cathy at What Cathy Read Next and Zoe at Zooloo's Book Diary. Many thanks to Penny Ingham and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Tours for inviting me and for my digital copy of the book.

The prologue of The Saxon Wolves places Anya, Saxon princess and…

Good Samaritans by Will Carver #BookReview #BlogTour


One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans. But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home... And someone is watching... 

Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Good Samaritans by Will Carver today. Huge thanks to the author, Orenda Books and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

I've read Will Carver's books in the past so I thought I knew what to expect but nothing prepared me for just how twisted Good Samaritans is. This is definitely not a book for children or those who prefer more genteel fiction, it's dark and dirty - and I loved it!
Good Samaritans at its heart is a novel about appearances; the faces we show to the world and those we keep hidden. To most people, Seth and Maeve would appear to have a normal, loving relationship, perhaps they've become a little stale as happens when couples have been together for years but that's nothing to worry about, although it's true that rather than going to bed with his wife, insomniac Seth stays up every night ringing strangers - most of whom tell him where to go but a few are lonely enough to want to talk . And yes, Maeve finds more company in a wine bottle than in her husband but she knows they're there for one another and all relationships have their ups and downs. Hadley Serf isn't just down and at her lowest moments has attempted suicide. Her friends say they care but she believes they think she needs to pull herself together and is still lost and lonely. Ant understands what it's like to lose somebody, he found his friend dead and now he's trying to cleanse himself of those memories by listening to what others have to say, hoping to prevent further lives being lost. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Pace hates himself more with each day that passes as he tries to discover who has killed two young women, then bleached, scrubbed and wrapped them in plastic before dumping them miles away.
This isn't the easiest book to review, the shocking plot following how these people's lives interact  - messily, tragically and in some cases with a sick thrill of excitement - deserves to be read without too much prior knowledge of what is to come. It could have made for grim reading but is infused throughout with the sort of cynical black humour you know you shouldn't laugh at but... I didn't really feel a bond with the characters (which comes as some relief!) but I was unable to tear my eyes from the page as Will Carver taunts and teases with his devious and audacious writing. The story takes place over two weeks with the events of each day revealed through the varying perspectives of the characters. The different narratives are mostly told in the third person with just one in the first but each is clearly distinct and with an edgy immediacy that allows for an unsettling insight into the disturbing thoughts of these dysfunctional people.
Good Samaritans is uncompromising -  the violence is graphic, the sex is explicit and there are some raw subjects covered here, not just the murders (horrific as they are to contemplate), mental illness and suicide are also referenced and for various reasons this won't be a book for everyone. However, I loved it and can only heap praise on Will Carver for the risks he has taken writing this astonishing novel -  Good Samaritans is daringly original and exceptional storytelling. Absolutely brilliant and highly recommended!

Good Samaritans is published by Orenda Books, purchasing links can be found here.

Don't forget to check out some of the other fabulous blogs taking part in this tour, details are below.


About the Author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

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